Stories from "The Big 6" on July 9 edition of "First Look with Scott Cox."
FIREWORKS CITATIONS: Three people in Kern County are arrested for using illegal fireworks. That’s the final tally by Fire Department officials who ran a Task Force July 3rd and 4th. Their hotline took in over 13 hundred calls over the two nights, between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. Besides the three felony arrests, the Task Force handed out 63 citations. The fine for having illegal fireworks is $1,500, and $500 for misusing Safe and Sane fireworks.
METH SENTENCING: 46-year-old Sergio Aguilar was sentenced Monday to seven years, 10 months for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine... and doing so while on probation. He pled guilty in April. When he was caught dealing at a local banquet hall and outside a Walmart, Aguilar was on supervised release after serving 12 and a half years for selling meth to an undercover agent in 1996.
MARIJUANA SENTENCING: A man connected with a Bakersfield marijuana store is going to prison for over seven years. On Monday, David Chavez Sr. was sentenced in Federal Court to 87 months. He pleaded guilty last December. Chavez was treasurer of Nature’s Medicinal, owned by his son David Chavez Jr. The law shut it down in 2007, but authorities say they kept doing business. Over 200 pounds of pot was seized along with marijuana-laced food products and 57 grand in cash. In January, Chavez Jr. was sentenced to 48 months in custody, and six others also went to prison.
JOHN WREN FUNERAL: Close to 1,000 people jammed into the Fruitvale Avenue meetinghouse of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Monday to pay their respects to John Wren, the South High School football coach who died in his sleep early Tuesday at just 44 years old. Wren was a 1987 graduate of South and returned there as an athletic trainer in the mid-1990s while he put himself through school at Cal State Bakersfield. He had been with the Rebels in some form ever since, except for a three-year stint at Foothill from 2004-2006. He returned in 2006 to teach English at South and take over the varsity football position.
FARMWORKER DEATH: Local farm workers are calling out for stricter enforcement of heat-illness prevention laws. This after a Central Valley farm worker died Friday afternoon while working on an irrigation system in Richgrove, prompting the United Farm Workers union to spring into action. The 37-year-old man was checking irrigation equipment in a field owned by Visalia-based Etchegaray Farms four miles east of Highway 65 when he collapsed. The man was unresponsive when emergency medical workers found him at 3 p.m. A UFW spokesman says with temperatures continuing to be over 100 degrees in the week to come, there needs to be immediate compliance with all laws by all employers, which the state should encourage with aggressive enforcement of California's heat illness-prevention regulation. Cal-OSHA said it is investigating the case.
TEHACHAPI BIKE EVENT: A new celebration near Tehachapi is a blend of history, spectacular views and lots of hard pedaling. The first annual Challenge of the Bear on Saturday saw 50 cyclists from as far away as Las Vegas working their way along a 62 mile course. The event also gave people a chance to ride in a hot air balloon. One of those testing their courage was Joel Bowman of Tehachapi. Another attraction was a reenactment of a Revolutionary War battle. Officials in Bear Valley Springs hope the annual event will help boost tourism.
WHAT'S TRENDING ON BAKERSFIELD.COM
SOUTH COACH FUNERAL: Close to 1,000 people jammed into the Fruitvale Avenue meetinghouse of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Monday to pay their respects to John Jay Wren, the South High School football coach who died in his sleep early Tuesday at just 44 years old.
Loved ones and admirers filled the church sanctuary and an adjoining basketball court, and still more packed the hallway, craning their necks to see and hear the funeral.
Speaker after speaker recalled Wren as a devoted husband and father of strong religious convictions who guided and molded countless young people.
Wren left a wife, Marina Wren, and three children: Gader, 19, Gunner, 17, and Natalia, 15.
FIREWORKS CITATIONS: The number of citations for illegal fireworks exploded this Fourth of July as city firefighters raced from one call to the next, ultimately handing out 61 citations. Last year, city firefighters only handed out 36 citations for the same July 3-4 period. Staffing of fireworks patrols has been about the same over the past few years, so the increase means more people are breaking the law, said Bakersfield Fire Battalion Chief Anthony Galagaza. City firefighters partnered with Bakersfield police in responding to 671 reports of illegal fireworks. By comparison, there were 523 reports in 2012 and 368 in 2011 over the holiday enforcement period.
METH DEALER SENTENCED: Sergio Hector Aguilar, 46, of Bakersfield, was sentenced Monday to 7 years, 10 months in federal prison for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
In pleading guilty in April, Aguilar acknowledged that he supplied methamphetamine during two separate undercover transactions at a Wal-Mart parking lot and a banquet hall in Bakersfield. He was on supervised release at the time following completion of a 12 1/2-year prison sentence for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 20 pounds of meth to an undercover agent in 1996.
FARMWORKER DIES, UFW CALLS FOR ACTION: A Central Valley farmworker died Friday afternoon while working on an irrigation system in Richgrove, prompting the United Farm Workers union to call Monday for stricter enforcement of heat-illness prevention laws.
The 37-year-old man was checking irrigation equipment in a field owned by Visalia-based Etchegaray Farms four miles east of Highway 65 when he collapsed, according to a company report cited Monday by Cal-OSHA. It said the man was unresponsive when emergency medical workers found him at 3 p.m.
Cal-OSHA said it is investigating the case.
ICE CREAM PLANT STILL TRENDING: And who doesn’t love ice cream? Apparently the readers of bakersfield.com because reporter John Cox’s Saturday story on a behind-the-scenes tour of Nestle’s huge ice cream plant here is still trending.
The plant produces Dreyers ice cream, drumsticks, push up and frozen fruit bars, which are made 24-hours a day. By volume it’s the busiest ice cream plant in the world.
Nestle says the place provides a third of the country's ice cream, including reduced-fat and lower-calorie treats. There's even ice cream with whey protein for dogs.
John will be joining us in the 9 o’clock hour to talk about his experience and show us the proper way to eat a drumstick
MOVING OIL BY RAIL IS BOOMING: When it comes to transporting oil, moving it by rail car is becoming the most efficient way to do it and the numbers are proving it.
At the end of May, the Association of American Railroads reported record crude traffic on the nation’s railroads. In the first quarter of 2013, more than 97,000 carloads of oil were moved around the country -- a 166 percent increase from the first quarter of 2012.
Of course, what’s driving this is the massive shale oil boom in North Dakota and here in California. The Chicago Tribune reports one train tank is equivalent to 600 to 700 barrels of oil.
Last month’s numbers all so significant gains in oil transportation. When it comes to moving natural resources oil is just a drop in the bucket. Coal remains the No. 1 item moved across America’s railways. More than 40 percent of all rail traffic is the movement of coal.
SACRAMENTO BEE COLUMNIST WRITES ON SHALE BOOM: Sacramento Bee political columnist Dan Walters wrote Monday about the state’s oil-based future, and it’s potential cost.
Walters focused on the political ramifications of introducing acid for “well stimulation” rather than hydraulic fracturing -- or fracking.
“California's shale oil is so different from that in other states that fracking may not be sufficient to recover it. A legislative report indicates that oil drillers may have to use "acid well stimulation treatment" instead.
Therein is the rub.
Fracking has been used in California for many years and is generally considered a relatively low-risk technique. But pumping deadly acids into the ground is, to many, potentially dangerous.”
Read more from Walters here
THE TECH REPORT
CABLE AND WIFI: Cable providers are planning a big push into the Wi-Fi space as a way to extend their broadband footprint and add more value to their cable packages. According to a research report, U.S. cable firms will deploy more than 250-thousand Wi-Fi hotspots by mid-2014.
According to Heavy Reading, the cable industry has already spent more than $175 million dollars in deploying Wi-Fi hotspots. Currently, the cable companies have deployed about 174-thousand Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the United States.
GARMIN DEVICES: Smartphones have pretty much taken over as the default navigation tool for many drivers, but since many states, including California have outright banned smartphone use in the car, Garmin has designed a new gadget called the HUD.
The Head-Up Display sits on the dashboard at the base of the windshield, where it projects navigation data upward into the driver's line of sight, either onto a transparent film affixed to the windshield glass or a reflector lens that attaches to the device.
HUD's data is provided by one of Garmin's navigation apps on your smartphone and shows turn arrows, distance to the next turn, current speed and speed limit.
Garmin says that by projecting this data up in the driver's line of sight HUD can help increase safety and reduce driver distraction.
THE HEALTH REPORT
SKIN CANCER: Most people don’t realize that harmful UVA rays from the sun penetrate the side and rear windows of a car. For anyone who spends significant time behind the wheel, recent dermatological research proves that driving without protection from the sun could significantly increase the chances of developing skin cancer.
Protection from the sun while driving is recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation, and they note that using window film can provide round the clock protection.
Two types of ultraviolet radiation cause skin damage—long-wave UVA rays and short-wave UVB rays. Window glass effectively blocks UVB rays, which cause sunburns. UVA rays pass right through glass and penetrate deep into skin, causing long-term, cumulative damage.
MEDICAL RECORDS: U.S. hospitals are making major strides in switching to electronic health records from paper, driven by an infusion of federal funding for the nationwide effort, according to a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The number of hospitals with a basic electronic health records system in place jumped to 44 percent in 2012. That’s up 17 percent from 2011. Hospitals that have gone digital have tripled since 2010, when healthcare providers began receiving federal funds to finance the change.
The U.S. government is pushing for widespread use of electronic health records as a means of improving the quality and reducing the costs of healthcare. Standardized record-keeping is expected to improve medical decision-making and reduce errors while avoiding duplication of tests and treatments.
BLAZE LOSE 3-2: Ryan Casteel hit two home runs, including a go-ahead, two-run shot in the sixth inning to lift the Modesto Nuts past the Bakersfield Blaze, 3-2 in Monday’s California League game at Sam Lynn Ballpark. Casteel hit a solo shot in the fourth to cut Bakersfield’s lead to 2-1. Bakersfield plays the Nuts tonight at 7:45 in the finale of the three-game at Sam Lynn Ballpark.